[op-ed snap] RTE’s heart is in the right place—but not its head

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Mains Paper 2: Governance | Welfare schemes for vulnerable sections of the population by the Centre and States and the performance of these schemes; mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Q.) “Scrapping the no-detention policy, one of the most controversial features of the Right to Education Act, is a first step towards mitigating some of its worst consequences.” Discuss.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the RTE Act

Mains level: Some days ago, we published a newscard that gave facts against the decision of scrapping the NDP. This article is just opposite of that. It is important to know both side of the story.



  1. The article supports scrapping of No Detention Policy, under the RTE Act

Situation after RTE Act

  1. RTE was supposed to bring millions to school
  2. Building the foundations upon which a modern, progressive and prosperous nation was to rise
  3. But after 7 years, Education level is deteriorated and schools are being closed
  4. According to some experts, the RTE has proved to be a disastrous piece of legislation
  5. But Government decision to scrap the no-detention policy (NDP), is an important first step towards mitigating some of its worst consequences

Deteriorating Educations standards due to NDP

  1. According to the “Annual Status of Education Report” (Aser), less than 48% of children in class V can read a class II-level textbook
  2. Only 43.2% of class VIII students in rural India can do simple divisions
  3. Only one out of every four students in class V could read an English sentence

Views of Other Government Authorities on NDP

  1. The NDP has also been found to be faulty by the comptroller and auditor general as well as the Central Advisory Board of Education
  2. More than 20 states and union territories have asked for the policy to be either scrapped or modified

Arguments in favor of NDP

  1. NDP supporters claim that the objective of the policy was to keep students in school and prevent dropouts and in that, it has succeeded
  2. But, What is the point of students staying in school if they are barely learning anything at all?

Other issues with RTE that worsen the effect of NDP

  1. One of the main issues with the RTE Act is that it heavily focus on inputs while effectively ignores outputs
  2. It doesn’t offer any benchmarks for learning outcomes or link teacher assessment to student performance